Friday Roundup: Descendants Search, Black Modernism Grants, and Weekend Activities in Winchester

The Winchester Star editorial page recently ran a letter from Nancy Oudekerk looking for possible relatives of people buried in Green Hill African American Cemetery in Martinsburg, WV. The formerly abandoned cemetery has now been cleaned and the group is now hoping to find descendants of those buried here. If you or someone you know recognize a name on the following list, please contact Gloria Carton, president of the Green Hill Historic African American Cemetery at glojc13@aol.com.

The names of those interred, according to Trinity Episcopal Church, are: Charlotte Alexander; Louise Arnold; R.B.; Jeannie Barnes; Emma Jane Brook; John Campbell; Sinah Campbell; Margaret Carter; Cynthia Cook; A.D.; Agnes Dandridge; Sancho Drew; Mary Henrietta Dunmore; Julia Lyons Gray; Virginia Smith Gray; William Green; Thomas Jenkins; Lucy Lane; James Lowrie, Easter Lowrie; Laura Marshal; Anna McDaniel; Susan Parrott; Lemira Patterson; Toby Pettigrew; John Robinson; John Henry Semmes; Elizabeth Sherman; Harriet Smith; Stephen Thomley; Jesse Virginia Turner; Fanny; Lavinia; Thornton (unknown surnames) Lewis Washington; Ashby Weldon and Mary Wilson. The original Trustees of the cemetery were Samuel Hopewell, William Fairfax, Daniel Thurnton, Lewis Ford, William Ford, Franki Johnson, Perry Alman, Christopher Ailingsworth and James Johnson.


On the other end of history, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Getty Foundation are partnering on a new grant program, Conserving Black Modernism, to protect the often-overlooked modernist sites designed by Black architects. The two-year program will advance efforts to further identify historic sites that represent this architecture style, while also providing necessary preservation planning, training, and storytelling resources for long term sustainment. Grant applications will be managed by the National Trust and open in November, with the first round of grantees to be announced in Summer 2023. If you know of a site that fits these criteria and could benefit from this program, visit the Action Fund and learn more.


There’s a lot happening this weekend in and around Winchester! The Winchester Arts and Music Festival kicks off this Friday, Sept. 23, at 4 PM and runs through Sunday, Sept. 25 at various locations and times around downtown. Find more information on the activities here.

Literacy Volunteers will also host Oktoberfest downtown, 5-10 PM today. Tickets include ten tastings from breweries across Virginia and a commemorative glass. More information and ticket purchase information is available here.

The MSV at Night is also taking place this evening, 5-8 PM. Come out to the museum at 901 Amherst St. to view the exhibitions “Destination: Latin America” and “ORIGAMI IN THE GARDEN” while enjoying live music and authentic Mexican food. For more information on the program schedule and admission prices, visit the MSV’s website.

The French and Indian War Foundation will have their 5th annual French and Indian War Weekend at Abrams Delight in Winchester this Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25. Stop by Winchester’s oldest home for living history and tactical demonstrations.

Fort Collier and Trenches
Fort Collier, 922 Martinsburg Pike

Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute and the Fort Collier Civil War Center present Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas, “A Theme for the Poet, a Scene for the Painter”: Fort Collier and the Third Battle of Winchester. The one-hour tour, beginning at 9:30 AM, will be held at Fort Collier, 922 Martinsburg Pike. This event is free and open to the public and no pre-registration required.

Celebracion will round out the Saturday events downtown on the walking mall, noon-4 PM. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with food and retail vendors, music, and impromptu dance lessons.

Stay safe and pace yourselves this weekend while you enjoy all that Winchester has to offer!

Friday Roundup: Weekend Events

While we approach the end of National Preservation Month, there are still a few more activities in the pipeline that can help you celebrate the area’s unique architectural and cultural heritage:

This weekend is the 30th annual Newtown Heritage Festival. The event started in 1993 to commemorate Stephens City’s heritage and to bring community awareness to the town. The festival begins tonight, May 27, at 6 PM and continues into Saturday, May 28 with various activities and performances. Perhaps of most interest to our readers would be the “Up Along Mulberry” Guided Trolley tour created by Rick Kriebel of Newtown History Center. The tour is free but tickets are required. Seating is limited. Pick up a ticket at the festival tent or reserve by emailing NHF30th@gmail.com. Tours are scheduled for 11 AM and 4 PM on Saturday.

In celebration of its 200th anniversary, the Winchester Police Department will host a car show in Old Town Winchester (Piccadilly & Cameron Streets) in partnership with the Hoppers Auto Club, Inc. on Saturday, May 28, 1-5 pm (rain date Sunday, May 29). Cost is $10, with proceeds benefiting the Winchester-Frederick Co. Law Enforcement Foundation.

OrigamiintheGarden, an exhibition created by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box, opens Saturday, May 28 at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. The outdoor exhibit features Box’s own compositions as well as collaborations with world-renowned origami artists Robert J. Lang, Te Jui Fu, Beth Johnson and Michael G. LaFosse. These remarkable artworks feel at home in the wondrous setting of botanical gardens, since paper originates in plant life and origami is made of paper. Don’t miss the Memorial Day Special Showing on Monday, May 30 at 2 PM!

The PHW office will be closed on Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day. Celebrate responsibly!

The board of directors of the Clowser Foundation will host its annual memorial service to honor the Clowser family members of Frederick County who were killed on June 1, 1764, by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 10 a.m. June 4 at The Historic Clowser House at 152 Tomahawk Trail, Winchester 22602.

Friday Roundup: Open House Weekend

The joint open house event with Preservation of Historic Winchester and Shenandoah Arts Council is still on for this Saturday, May 14, between noon and 4 PM. Free parking is available in the lot at the top of the driveway at 530 Amherst St. Look for the signage on the fence to find the driveway.

In case the weather is very stormy, the greeting table will be moved from the front porch to inside the foyer, still accessed through the front doors. Feel free to leave umbrellas on the front porch when entering.

The interior tours can be conducted at your own pace. There are additional signs mounted on the walls to help you learn about the building and expand on the pamphlet text. If you have questions about the building and its history, please let one of the volunteers know. Questions and comments will be used for subsequent revisions of the pamphlet.

In addition to the donation options, we will also have volunteer forms and nomination forms for our annual preservation awards, as well as other literature and walking tours to help you explore Winchester’s history and architecture further.

It is also that time of the year again when PHW looks to elect board members. If you may be interested in joining the organization and participating in a more direct way, we will have a current and past PHW board member on hand to talk about opportunities to help out.

We look forward to sharing our unique office with the community tomorrow to celebrate National Preservation Month. See you then!

Friday Roundup: National Preservation Month

Happy May! This year marks the 49th celebration of National Preservation Month, which was created to bring awareness to the work historic preservation does to preserve buildings and community character. There are always lots of activities this time of year to help you celebrate, but we have collected a number of the history-themed ones in our Preservation Month edition of the PHW newsletter.

We’d also like to share a little more detail on our National Preservation Month Open House set for May 14 at the Hexagon House:

For this special occasion, we will use the front door, facing Amherst Street, as our main entrance. Please note this entrance has a run of ten stairs to enter, but does have a handrail. If steps are an issue, the back door, which we use for our day to day business, has only two steps up (but no handrail).

Likewise, the upstairs will be opened by ShenArts. The upstairs is accessed by stairs only (20 steps, with handrail). If you cannot manage the steps, we will have a table for ShenArts info downstairs for guests.

Admission is free, but we encourage a donation to one or more of the following options (all are tax deductible as PHW and ShenArts are both 501(c)3 organizations):

  • General donation to PHW or ShenArts
  • Donation to the Godfrey Miller House Exterior Preservation Fund
  • Donation in memory of Dr. James Laidlaw, which will be used for exterior improvements at the Hexagon House in partnership with the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
  • Donation to the Sherry Bosley Scholarship fund, to create an endowment for local students pursuing a historic preservation education

In addition, we will be able to process membership renewals for PHW, and we’ll have a “book nook” where you can pick up a copy of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture and other titles. We encourage the use of cash or checks, but we will try to have a credit/debit option available as well.

And of course, we have finally completed the brochure on the history of the Hexagon House, which has been requested numerous times through the years. It will be available for the first time during this event. We are delighted with the final product and can’t wait to share it with the community. This first (in what we hope may be a series of) building-specific pamphlet was made possible by the generous donation of cover artwork by Linda Spollen Haile, and a donation by Karen E. Brill and William J. Meyer which covered the printing expenses for the brochure. Even if you can’t stay for a full walk through the house, we hope you’ll drop in for a few minutes and grab a copy of the brochure. Be sure to thank our project donors as well, because it was their support that made this brochure and event possible for the community!

Last, just for fun, PHW has made a quick personality quiz to suggest some architectural styles to fit your personality. If the embedded quiz is not working, find the direct link here. Let us know how we did on picking styles!

Friday Roundup: Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars! PHW and the Shenandoah Arts Council are teaming up on May 14 to host an open house in our office, the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St. We invite anyone to stop by and see our unique office building, the only hexagonal residence built in Virginia. We will premiere the highly-requested brochure on the house’s history at the event, and visitors can pick up a free copy. This is also set to be one of the rare times the second story will also be open for tours, thanks to the partnership of ShenArts.

This event is held in celebration of National Historic Preservation Month, which takes place every May. This year’s theme is People Saving Places. Historic place-savers pour their time, energy, and resources into protecting places they care about, often without recognition. Preservation Month 2022 is for them—a national high-five to everyone doing the great work of saving places and inspiring others to do the same.

In lieu of an admission fee, we encourage you to donate to one of a number of earmarked funds held by PHW. Online donations through Eventbrite will be marked as a general donation to PHW; you may donate in person at the door toward our directed funds. More information on the donation options will be available at the event.


The family-friendly Kidzfest day downtown will also be held May 14. Before or after visiting us at the Hexagon House, head to the Old Town Mall for exhibits highlighting education, art, music, sports and more. Information on the event is available at oldtownwinchesterva.com.


The French and Indian War Foundation has two events for the same weekend. First, stop by Washington’s Well at 419 N. Loudoun St. between 10 AM and 4 PM on May 14. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Fort Loudoun Day commemorating the beginning of construction of Col. George Washington’s historic Fort Loudoun in 1756. Look back into Winchester’s history during the 1700s via re-enactments, tours, and children’s activities.

Dr. Carl Ekberg presents a special luncheon and lecture “George Washington Gets Lucky, July 4, 1754” for the 20th anniversary celebration of the French and Indian War Foundation on Sunday, May 15. Head to the George Washington Hotel Ballroom for a 1 PM lunch and 2 PM lecture and cash bar. The event is $30 for members of FIWF and $35 for nonmembers; reserve your tickets by shopping online at fiwf.org/shop or by mailing a check to FIWF, PO Box 751, Winchester, VA 22604.


PHW is also accepting nominations for the 2022 preservation awards. If someone you know has completed a preservation project in Winchester or Frederick County and deserves recognition for their hard work, nominate them for a PHW award. The nomination forms can be found on the PHW website—nominate as many people or projects as you wish. Nominations are due by June 10 for consideration this year.

Friday Roundup: Upcoming Events

Handley Regional Library presents the Orrick Cemetery 100th Anniversary program on Saturday, April 23, 2:00 PM in the Handley Robinson Auditorium, Handley Library.

Orrick Cemetery is the only surviving African-American cemetery that is still active in Winchester, Virginia. It will be celebrating a century of incorporation on April 13, 2022, but has served our community for over two centuries.

Presenter Brenda Nelson will give a comprehensive history of Orrick Cemetery. She has been researching her and her husband’s genealogy and has shared what she has learned and the family she has researched by writing and publishing three articles for the Fairfax Genealogical Society Newsletter. Brenda’s latest project had been researching the history of the Orrick Cemetery here in the City of Winchester.


National Historic Marker Day will take place this year on Friday, April 29. The William G. Pomeroy Foundation created this fun and family-friendly celebration in 2021 to bring people together to clean historic markers in their community, while helping to promote and preserve local history.

Markers educate the public, encourage pride of place, promote tourism and generate economic benefits. Despite their importance, many have not received ongoing care to maintain their luster. Road salt, pollen and other contaminants can take their toll. Markers must be regularly cleaned so they can be enjoyed now and for future generations. That’s where volunteers for National Historic Marker Day make a difference.

Visit the official National Historic Marker Day webpage for details about registering as a volunteer, planning a service project, tips for cleaning markers, and the benefits of participating. PHW will be sprucing up our markers at the Hexagon House before closing early that afternoon for Apple Blossom festivities.


PHW is planning a National Preservation Month event in mid-May at the Hexagon House. We are ecstatic to have finally completed an updated history brochure on our wonderful office space and are looking forward to celebrating its launch this spring. More details will be coming soon!


Are you an artist interested in being part of the Bough & Dough Shop this year? The dates have tentatively been set for November 18-December 11. Artist application forms will be completed soon; if you are a prospective artist drop us an email at phwinc.org@gmail.com to receive a digital copy when they become available.

Hexagon House

Friday Roundup: Charlie Rouss Day Edition

Today is Charlie Rouss Day, celebrated on the birthday of this benefactor to Winchester. While no events were planned for 2022 due to the pandemic, you can celebrate by watching a quick video produced by the City of Winchester:

This time of year, PHW is also getting ready to celebrate its 58th birthday. We celebrated at the office by doing some filing for old newsletters discovered tucked into other file folders this week. Perhaps not the most festive thing to do, but important if we’re ever going to get around to scanning all the backlog!

Here are a few other upcoming events and a video that could be of interest to historians and preservationists:

Learn about Winchester in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and explore the history of the Godfrey Miller House. The event takes place February 16 at 2:30 PM in the Godfrey Miller Center, 28 S. Loudoun St. The tours will be led by Rev. Jonathan Boynton dressed in period costume. Rev. Boynton is an avid reenactment historian that has been delighting participants with his knowledge and entertaining presentations for more than 35 years.

A new highway marker honoring Dr. Madison S. Briscoe will be unveiled at his childhood home 204 S. Kent St. on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2:30 PM (inclement weather date is Feb. 26). Parking is available at the Winchester Moose Lodge. Activities related to Dr. Briscoe will be held at the Discovery Museum between 11 AM and 2 PM on the same day.

Ready to learn about an innovative solution to preserving a fragile piece of the built environment? Check out A Massive Chainmail Shelter Prevents a Renowned Scottish Mansion from Dissolving in the Rain. Be sure to watch the quick video for a look at the building, inside and out. Even better, the innovative structure will be completely recyclable at the end of the fifteen-year project, being made entirely of steel.

This Weekend: Oktoberfest Walking Tours and PastForward Conference Livestream

The annual Old Town Winchester Oktoberfest returns on October 11-12. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy German inspired beer and food this evening and tomorrow while experiencing sights, sounds and traditions of Oktoberfest. This event happens throughout Old Town Winchester, including the Loudoun Street Mall, historic Taylor Pavilion and the 1840 Courthouse lawn.

Look for PHW-led walking tours starting near the Hideway Cafe to take you on a tour of historic haunts and lauded drinking spots from Winchester of yesteryear. The tours are free and open to all visitors. More information on the event can be found at oldtownwinchesterva.com.

If you prefer staying indoors this weekend, select events from the National Trust’s 2019 PastForward Preservation Conference will be livestreamed online. The stream can be found on the Trust’s website. If you couldn’t make it to Denver for the event, you can at least catch a few topics to feel like you’re part of the action.

While the Bough & Dough Shop is full of artists for this year, you have a second chance to join the action at the Hexagon House! Visit our upstairs neighbors at the Shenandoah Arts Council to learn about their event held concurrently with the Bough & Dough Shop.

This Weekend: “From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester”

Please join the French and Indian War Foundation and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Association for the next event celebrating Winchester’s 275th anniversary this Sunday, September 15 at the George Washington Hotel, beginning at 1:30 PM. This free presentation will be a lovely celebration in a lovely place, with a dynamic speaker, Dr. Carl Ekberg. Everyone is welcome! More information is available on the French and Indian War Foundation’s website.

Also, mark your calendars for walking tours by PHW during Celebracion (location pending) on September 22 and Oktoberfest near the Godfrey Miller House, October 11 and 12.

Friday Roundup: End of Summer Events

We had a fantastic time at the open house last Saturday. If you couldn’t make it, you missed a chill afternoon full of art, food, and creativity. Don’t worry, though! You will get to enjoy the fruits of these labors (plus our upstairs neighbors ShenArts) starting in late November at the Bough and Dough Shop. If you haven’t yet, you can pick up an informational packet with an application form here.

Do you enjoy transcription of historic documents? The Library of Virginia has made the records of the Equal Suffrage League available for transcription. As part of the 2020 commemoration of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote, the Library is asking volunteers to help transcribe these records that document women’s campaign for the vote in Virginia. You can learn more at their blog, Out of the Box.

September in Winchester always conjures up Patsy Cline. Get your fix tomorrow with the Patsy Cline Block Party. The annual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 31, 2019 in front of the Patsy Cline Historic House, 608 S. Kent St., Winchester. It is an old-fashioned style block party with live entertainment, food concessions by Shaffer’s BBQ and souvenirs staged on Kent St. between Monmouth and Germain streets. The block party is free to attend with tours of the historic house offered at the reduced price of $5 for the day. Four performances by returning and new entertainers includes tribute singers performing Patsy songs, singer-storyteller, and groups performing songs of her genre.


“From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester” will be held September 15.

“From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester” will be held Sunday, September 15 at the George Washington Hotel, beginning at 1:30 PM. This free presentation will be a lovely celebration in a lovely place, with a dynamic speaker, Dr. Carl Ekberg. Join the French and Indian War foundation and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society for this 275th anniversary of the founding of Winchester event. Everyone is welcome! More information is available on the French and Indian War Foundation’s website.

Last, PHW will be closed on Monday, September 2 for Labor Day. Enjoy your long weekend as you say goodbye to summer!